Spiritual Growth and Encouragement for Christian Women

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Hope for the Grieving Woman on Mother's Day

Hope for the Grieving Woman on Mother's Day

On Sunday we will celebrate Mother’s Day. And if you’ve lost your mom or your child, I’m sure you’d like to blot this date from your calendar. But would that do any good? It certainly wouldn’t make your grief disappear.

This special holiday offers each one of us the opportunity to collect the fragments of our grief—be they a basketful or a loaded dump truck—and ask… Father, what do You want me to do with this tsunami of grief?

A number of years ago I was rereading the account of Jesus feeding the 5,000. And in the middle-of-my-muddle His words jumped off the page:

“And when they were filled, He said to His disciples, ‘Gather up the leftover fragments that nothing may be lost.’ And so, they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, which were left over by those who had eaten.” (John 6:12-13 NAS)

Jesus fed a multitude after He blessed and broke five loaves and two fishes. He also gave His disciples 12 baskets to collect the leftovers… so nothing would be wasted.

I’m sure you’re thinking, what has this got to do with my grief and Mother’s Day? But if our Lord Jesus instructed his disciples to scoop up crumbs of bread and stinky fish—might He want you to gather the crumbs and stinky emotions of your overwhelming grief and bring them to Him also?

God doesn’t waste anything—especially grief!

After the loss of a loved one, crumbs of shattered lives lay scattered around us. And we just don’t have the ability to look beyond our pain—but Jesus does.

How can God ever use anything as dark and ugly as what I’m going through? Which way do I turn? Where do I go? My life is over.

No, your life isn’t over… it’s going to be different. And we don’t like change. But Jesus scoops up the cracked pieces of your life, if you’ll let Him, and places them back on His potter’s wheel where He repairs, integrates, and reshapes each one of us into new vessels. By the power of His love, the warmth of His hands, and the pain we’ve experienced, He changes pride into humility, anger into hope, and rampant sorrow into comfort and love.

Then He certifies everyone He’s repaired. “… comforting us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (1 Corinthians 1:4 NAS)

Yes, God has already planted seeds of comfort in you, but you must allow Him to water and fertilize them… let His grace penetrate and soften all those deep dark corners where your fear, doubt, pain, anger, and loneliness hide.

This seemingly endless grief journey has taught me lessons I could never have learned any other way. Jesus took those wretched fragments of grief after Michelle’s death, and made a whole new me. It didn’t happen overnight, but as I opened my clenched fists, and allowed Him to transform the raging storm of my emotions, He brought His light into my darkness. His order out of my chaos. And His peace in the midst of my pain.

I’m so thankful God didn’t abandon me outside the hospital room that night. Nor did He turn His back and walk away during those years of my ugly rage and crushing sorrow.  And He won’t abandon you either.

God never wastes anything—even dark, ugly moments of grief. In those first Mother’s Days, when I was numb with my own pain, He whispered in my ear… send Mother’s Day cards to other mothers who are without their children or their mothers. And though I didn’t realize it… encouraging them, encouraged me.

Now it’s your choice—His light or your darkness. His comfort or your anger. His love and mercy or your doubt and fear. His peace or your pain. Of course, you will miss your mom, your child, or whoever you lost. And you will have moments of deep sorrow, but God is continually in the process of bringing good out of your debilitating loss—if you’ll let Him.

God will transform your life. He will turn you into a conduit of His mercy and grace so you can pour out the comfort you’ve received on others about to enter this dismal journey. And the example of your peace will shine the light of His grace and glory into their long, dark tunnel through grief.

So, don’t quit. Don’t run away… and please don’t waste your grief this Mother’s Day! Allow God to water the seeds of grace and joy in your heart. Seeds He will bring to life in the moments He sends you to comfort someone He knows needs your help.

“There are only two things I can do in respect to God in a time of grief: I can move toward Him or I can move away from Him.” -Dr. Paul David Tripp

Wife, mother, and Mimi, freelance artist and photographer, DiAne Gates writes for children, young adults, and non-fiction for adults through her blogs, http://dianegates.wordpress.com/ and www.floridagirlturnedtexan.wordpress.com. She also facilitates a GriefShare support group. DiAne’s award winning, ROPED, first in her western adventure series released July of 2015, and the second book, TWISTED, released by Pelican Book Group July 14, 2017. Third book in this series, UNTIED, is her WIP. You can find DiAne on Facebook.

Photo courtesy: Thinkstock/max-kegfire